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Academic Success and the Transfer of Community College Credits in the Principles of Economics

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  • Paul W. Grimes
  • Jon P. Rezek
  • Randall C. Campbell

Abstract

A growing number of today's college students attend local 2-year community colleges. Many of these students will ultimately transfer to major universities in pursuit of the traditional Bachelors degree. The question of whether such transfer credits adequately prepare students for future academic endeavors is important for educators interested in preparing successful students and maintaining the quality of their institution. In this paper, we examine whether students who transfer credits earned for the traditional Principles of Economics course sequence achieve the same levels of academic success, measured in terms of GPA, as students taking the sequence at a major state university. The model indicates that community college transfer students perform poorly relative to native students in terms of cumulative GPA. This result is driven by a self-selection process whereby the more academically challenged students are those who choose to transfer credit from 2-year schools. The results of our model are used to develop a grade equivalency measure between the university and 2-year schools. Using this measure we are able to reject the hypothesis that grades are equivalent between 2- and 4-year institutions. Finally, we find that grades in the Principles of Economics sequence are strong predictors of overall academic success.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul W. Grimes & Jon P. Rezek & Randall C. Campbell, 2013. "Academic Success and the Transfer of Community College Credits in the Principles of Economics," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 58(1), pages 27-40, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:amerec:v:58:y:2013:i:1:p:27-40
    DOI: 10.1177/056943451305800104
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    File URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/056943451305800104
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hilmer, Michael J., 1997. "Does community college attendance provide a strategic path to a higher quality education?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 59-68, February.
    2. Hilmer, Michael J., 1999. "Does the return to university quality differ for transfer students and direct attendees?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 47-61, February.
    3. Laband, David N & Piette, Michael J, 1995. "Does Who Teaches Principles of Economics Matter?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 335-338, May.
    4. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
    5. Michael J. Hilmer, 2002. "Human Capital Attainment, University Quality, and Entry-Level Wages for College Transfer Students," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 457-469, October.
    6. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    7. Peter Kennedy, 2003. "A Guide to Econometrics, 5th Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 5, volume 1, number 026261183x, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos J. Asarta & Austin S. Jennings & Paul W. Grimes, 2017. "Economic Education Retrospective," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 62(1), pages 102-117, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    community college; Principles of Economics; transfer students; GPA; grade inflation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A2 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics
    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate

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